Friday, September 19, 2008

Bavaria and the Castles

Gosh, I can't believe how incredibly slow I am in updating my posts in my traveblogue (thanks to the slow internet connection where I took so long just to upload a few pics).
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To continue from where I left off, from Munich, I took a train to Bavaria to see the world famous castles and also the amazing scenery of the Alps
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One thing about Europe, the main train station is always the main portal to get to anywhere else and getting a train ticket means you can almost go anywhere, yeah, almost anywhere in Europe.
But of course, with a price, and the prices in Euro are something to scream for:p
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Nothing unique about the interior of the trains, it seemed pretty similar to all the trains around the world
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After about a 2-hour ride, the view outside the window is breath-taking (although from a distance) as we are approaching the Bavarian borders
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By the way, just a bit of information; Bavaria is a region which was independent in the past despite their close proximity to Germany and Austria.
Located at the south of Germany, their breath-taking scenery was often mistaken as resembling their Austrian counterparts; well known for their beautiful mountains scenery (think Sound of Music)
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It has always been a thin line to distinctively separate Bavaria from either Germany or Austria but Bavaria is a part of Germany; located in the southeast of Germany.
Bavaria also shares the borders with Czech Republic and Switzerland besides Austria; which explains the 3 commonality of the beautiful mountainous view.
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However, one thing funny was how my German friend told me that Bavarians are not considered Germans, though they belong to Germany.
Hahaha...sounds like Penangites; how they deny Butterworth and mainland are part of Penang:p


Anyway, the train ride was kinda enjoyable when you had these sceneries to feast your eyes on and also, not to mention the fresh mountain air.
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We got off at the Fussen station
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A bit of walking is required here (erm, a bit may be an understatement)
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There are also hotels and inns for mountain and scenery enthusiasts along the way
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There's also horse carriages which can bring you up to the castles if you are interested in inhaling the fresh air and the wind blowing against your cheeks. It will be a slow ride and I think it costs between 8-10 Euros per pax for the ride.
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I kinda pity the poor horses; having to carry the weight of all the people and up the hill....cruelty!~
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I decided to invest in modern technology; and opted for the bus ride
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You'll spot the famous childhood castle which was also famous as the Sleeping Beauty castle (it was said that the castle in Walt Disney's Sleeping Beauty was inspired by this castle)

After a short bus ride and a little hiking, we came to this place; Marienbrucke which I thought was just a normal hanging bridge.
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Boy, was I wrong, it offered a fantabulous view of the castle I was about to visit!
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And I am way up high; looking down at the gorge and rocky cliffs!~
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For a moment, I was afraid of the bridge holding all the people!~
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And we could see the Sleeping Beauty castle again
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After this stop, we had to hike up more to reach the famous castle; Schloss Neuwanstein
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Surrounded by awesome view of the nature, it was really marvellous and I felt so touched I could be there!~
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The grand and towering entrance to the castle
(now I could finalize realize my dream of being in a castle!!~)
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The walls of the castle; and the exterior, it was nothing different from what I've imagined:)
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We took a tour around the castle and went inside the castle to see the king and queen's chambers, maids parlor, kitchen, halls, etc by the castle's tour guide.
No photography nor videography is allowed, so, sorry, no pictures of the interior.
But I can tell you that the architecture is beautiful and most of them are inspired by the swan motifs as the King had a penchant for swans.
You can however, purchase a book on the castle from the souvenir shop:)

I love the scenery here
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It was raining by the time we were leaving...and this time, we hiked down to the bus stop to take the bus back to the train station
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I'm gonna miss you, beautiful Bavarian castles...goodbye Schloss Neuwanstein....